×
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
March 25, 2014

On Monday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart considered the fate of President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, whose appointment is in trouble due to some comments he's made in favor of gun safety measures. One example Senate Republicans are highlighting is a 2012 tweet... in which Murthy said he was tired of politicians being scared of the NRA. Stewart noted the irony of Murthy being proved right — Democrats alone could confirm him, but up to 10 are balking because of strong opposition from the NRA — and then tried to find a sensible middle ground between suspending kids over fake guns and sinking the nomination of "America's scold" because he once warned that guns can be bad for your health. "You know, bullets are not generally considered super foods," Stewart reminded Murthy's critics. --Peter Weber

7:44 a.m. ET
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Walt Disney Co. agreed to buy a passel of 21st Century Fox's movie and TV assets for $52.4 billion, giving Disney the 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight film studios and Fox television studio, FX, and the National Geographic Channel. Disney CEO Robert Iger will stay on as head of the combined companies through 2021, Disney also announced. The acquisition will require Justice Department antitrust approval. Analysts say that Disney wanted 21 Century Fox's content for its upcoming video-streaming services. The deal also gives Disney a 60 percent stake in Hulu. "It gives them a little more leverage to compete against new studios such as Netflix," says Boston College Law professor Dan Lyons, and "against cable companies to try to figure out they are going to continue to make money off the declining traditional cable bundle." Peter Weber

6:33 a.m. ET
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the Federal Communication Commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, is expected to approve Pai's proposal to rescind 2015 open internet rules adopted under former President Barack Obama, with Pai and his two fellow Republicans, Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr, voting in favor and Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel strongly opposed.

The new rules will allow broadband internet providers like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T to block or throttle access to certain websites, or provide special "fast lanes" for sites, apps, or customers who pay extra. They also scrap consumer protections, prevent states from enacting rules that contradict the FCC's, and shift a good deal of the FCC's internet oversight powers to the Federal Trade Commission, which may or may not have the legal authority to regulate large broadband ISPs.

Pai's proposal is broadly unpopular — in a new poll, 83 percent of voters, including 75 percent of Republicans, favored keeping the current net neutrality rules after being presented with vetted arguments from proponents and opponents of Pai's changes by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation. Librarians warn it will cost taxpayers or hurt library users. Critics of the plan are already planning legal challenges, and Congress could also step in.

The proposal dismantles "virtually all of the important tenets of net neutrality itself," telecom and media analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson write in a note to investors. "These changes will likely be so immensely unpopular that it would be shocking if they are allowed to stand for long." Pai argues that broadband giants will use their newfound powers for good, lowering prices and creating new services, and the broadband industry group USTelecom says the fears are unfounded and overblown. Broadband companies unsuccessfully sued to overturn the 2015 net neutrality rules and lobbied hard for Pai's proposal. Peter Weber

4:27 a.m. ET

"I'm a little shaky tonight, because my heart has been hurting all day due to a condition my doctor calls 'hope,'" Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Through the rubble of 2017, there was a glimmer of light, because last night, Roy Moore lost to Doug Jones in Alabama." His audience cheered. "It is the best gift ever given on the first night of Hanukkah — you're welcome, Roy Moore's Jewish lawyer," Colbert joked. "Thank you, black voters. It is the best thing African Americans have done for Alabama since they built it for free."

President Trump, who backed Moore, "tweeted something almost sportsmanlike" to Jones, Colbert said. But he predicted that Trump will end up deleting his tweets in support of Moore, just as he did with Luther Strange, "because backing a racist, homophobic teen-squeezer is one thing, but backing a loser, that's off-brand."

"African American women in Alabama really dealt Trump a blow last night, and Trump reached out to them today by firing his only female African American adviser," Omarosa Manigault Newman. "Folks, this is huge. With Omarosa gone, who's gonna be in charge of...?" She reportedly didn't go quietly. Colbert wasn't sad at her departure, but he was a little disappointed that Trump let White House Chief of Staff John Kelly do the deed: "What the hell? Firing Omarosa is literally the only job Donald Trump is qualified for!"

Moore hasn't conceded, and he's hoping for a recount, against all odds. "But Roy Moore has one more way he thinks he could still win this Senate seat," Colbert said: divine intervention. "So I can't help but wonder: Is God really going to save Roy Moore's candidacy?" "No way, Jose," said the Late Show God. "I don't have time for that. Besides, Roy Moore doesn't need me — he can perform his own miracles: losing to a Democrat in Alabama." Watch below. Peter Weber

3:14 a.m. ET

Former aides to Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) have described his Capitol Hill office as a beer-fueled frat house where sexual innuendo and angry outbursts by the congressman are commonplace, and on Wednesday, another former staffer, Michale Rekola, provided some more details to CNN. "Every time he didn't like something, he would call me a f--ktard or idiot," said Rekola, Farenthold's communications director for nine months in 2015. "He would slam his fist down in rage and explode in anger."

Another former aide, Elizabeth Peace, confirmed that Farenthold would regularly use the word "f--ktards" on staffers, and Farenthold admitted doing so to CNN. He said he used the term "in jest, not in anger," though "in hindsight, I admit it wasn't appropriate." Peace also confirmed Rekola's account of crude sexual comments Farenthold made right before Rekola left town to get married. "Better have your fiancée blow you before she walks down the aisle — it will be the last time," Farenthold said, according to Rekola. He said Farenthold also joked suggestively that his fiancée maybe shouldn't wear white on her wedding day. "Every staffer in that area heard it," Peace told CNN. "It was the most shocking thing I'd heard him say at that point."

Rekola developed serious stomach problems while working at Farenthold's office, and after returning from his honeymoon, he quit. Farenthold's treatment of staffers came to light with the news that he settled a sexual harassment claim by a former aide with $84,000 in public funds. He is not stepping down and plans to run for re-election next years, though he will face some strong challengers in the GOP primary. Peter Weber

2:20 a.m. ET

"Alabama has gone blue!" Trevor Noah marveled on Wednesday's Daily Show. He congratulated Senator-elect Doug Jones (D) on his victory, then said he didn't even really know what Jones looks like. "The truth is, in this race, nobody really paid attention to Doug Jones," Noah said. "The only question was: Who is Alabama gonna choose? An accused pedophile or a person allowed to babysit?"

Republicans are now left with a one-vote majority, but they only have themselves to blame for going with "Cowboy Roman Polanski," who still hasn't admitted he lost, Noah said, playing parts of Moore's non-concession speech. "My man, you're waiting to see what God is going to say? Alabama, after 25 years, just went Democrat. If there ever was an act of God, this is it. ... If I was God, I'd be so pissed at Roy Moore, I'd be like, 'Yo, dude, I gave you the biggest sign — I literally parted a red sea!.'"

On Late Night, Seth Meyers mostly he wanted to talk about Republicans. "One big question after the results came in was how will Donald Trump react? And surprisingly, he seemed to strike a conciliatory tone," he said, reading the tweet. "There is no way Donald Trump wrote that tweet. He probably went to the bathroom and forgot his phone, and somebody said, This is our chance, write something decent!"

Meyers said this is a big back eye for Trump, the Republican Party, and Stephen Bannon, who made a big gaffe at Moore's madcap closing rally. "How stupid do you have to be to insult the University of Alabama in Alabama?" Meyers asked. "Who do you think they're going to support? Roll Tide or someone who looks like he literally rolled up in the tide?"

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert turned the end of the campaign into a plausible TV theme song, "The Legend of Roy Moore." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:36 a.m. ET
iStock

Had the fuel light not gone on in his car, Dr. Javier Soto would never have stopped at a Speedway gas station in Merritt Island, Florida, on Saturday, and had he never stopped at the gas station, he wouldn't be able to tell people about the baby he delivered there in the back of a pickup truck.

While filling up, Soto, an OB/GYN, was approached by a man who saw he was wearing blue hospital scrubs and asked if he was in the medical field, Soto told People. The man said his fiancée was in labor in the back of his truck, and when Soto ran over, he realized he knew the woman — she was one of his former patients, who switched doctors because of her insurance. The baby's head was already visible, so Soto jumped into action, asking the man to run inside the station to ask for gloves and scissors and the friend who was driving the truck for his shoelaces.

After just one push, a baby boy was born, and after drying him off, Soto wrapped the shoelace around the umbilical cord and cut it. An ambulance arrived to take the new family of three to the hospital, and Soto followed behind. Both the mother and baby "are doing great," Soto said, and after checking them out he delivered another baby — this time in the hospital, not a parking lot. Catherine Garcia

12:54 a.m. ET

There were a lot of factors that went into Senator-elect Doug Jones' (D) upset victory in Alabama on Tuesday night — a divided Republican party, suburbanites who are fed up with President Trump, "and apparently, some people don't like accused kiddie-touchers," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "But there was one really huge factor that you can't ignore," he said: African Americans really turned out, giving Jones a higher percentage of the black vote than former President Barack Obama received.

Dulce Sloan came out and explained how it wasn't just black voters, but black women, who sank Republican Roy Moore. "You're welcome, white people, you're welcome," Sloan said, on behalf of all black women, and she had a suggestion: Maybe America could show its gratitude by "changing the laws to make it easier for us to vote, or sing our praises by giving us raises, or at the very least, cancel winter — you know only white people like snow."

On Late Night, Amber Ruffin also took a bow on behalf of black women. "Roy Moore was a well-known anti-gay, anti-Muslim, racist pedophile (allegedly)," she said. Most white women still voted for him, but 98 percent of black women voted for Jones. "P.S.: You know that's why Omarosa got fired today," Ruffin joked. "Trump was like, 'You promised me the black lady vote,' and she was probably like, 'I don't know any!'"

Ruffin invited white people to "appropriate" this example by black women, and noted that despite her initial fears about "black women" trending on Twitter, it turns out "everyone was writing 'Thank you, black women' — and that is cool, but when you're done thanking us, why don't you try voting for us and putting a few of us in office so we can run this s--t."

Daily Show regular Roy Wood Jr. just savored being publicly proud to be from Alabama. Watch below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads